After reading Gardner Campbell’s Personal Cyberinfrastructure, I thought a quote he used was very true. The quote he used was:
Any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment. Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes…The ‘message’ of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs.
This quote was appealing to me because I could agree with it. Although I was too young to realize there were certain social networking sites available in the past, I truly think that technology shapes the human environment in some kind of manner.
The first social networking site I used was called xanga. At this point, I don’t even know if it exists or not, but this was the first one I used. Before being introduced to a social networking site, I had to phone my friend or talk to them at school when I had something to tell them. I guess it worked out because I didn’t really have anything to talk about to my friends like I do now. However, if I think about it now, when I wanted to talk to my friends who left to a different country, I had to ask for their house address and write letters to them. On the other hand, after getting exposed to xanga and various social networking sites now like facebook, I was able to access my friends who were overseas instantly. I think this changed my life drastically because it made it easier for me to contact different people.
Another social networking tool I was exposed to at the same time was MSN. When I first started using MSN, I remember I was very surprised that I was able to talk to my friend through the computer at anytime, real time. Although this was just chatting, it allowed me to develop the blind typing skill that I thought I would have never gotten to do. Also, talking to my friends became even more easier after getting exposed to MSN. Now, with the help of Skype, I can now easily talk to my friends at any country in the world, via video call. I believe this made communicating with family and friends a lot easier. I really think so because I have friends who have gone overseas for college who talk to their parents and siblings who are all in different countries via Skype video call. From the invention of video calling, we don’t feel the need to write a letter or send video tapes like people used to.
After reading this article, it made me think about how much the internet and technology has changed our way of living throughout the years, and it also made me very appreciative of the people who invented all these methods of communication; which made our lives easier to keep in touch with our friends and family 🙂